Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Time for Change – Heralding in the New

When the New Moon arrives, it’s the perfect time for heralding in the new. Time for releasing the old with gratitude and welcoming new projects. Definitely a time for taking a step in the direction you want to move in.

And that is exactly what has been happening today, with the new moon. I stood and watched the sun setting from the lounge window. It was a flaming, vibrant orb, almost like wet dye on one of my silks. Unbelievably beautiful. Quite spectacular. And as it slipped below the outline of rooftops on the horizon, the sky darkened and remained completely dark. The dark of the moon.

Such an exciting time, pregnant with potential. And I knew that today was the moment to make changes.

I had a few changes lined up and had been eying them with intrepidation as they represented a large step towards realising goals of mine which were due for fulfilment. So what did I undertake?

The first thing I did was to bring my 30 day video challenge to completion. I had taken on a commitment to produce and upload a video every day to document what was going on for me in my life and to share my insights with the viewers. I decided to publish these on my current Facebook page which was dedicated to my artwork. But having no other platform to share them on, I decided that this was the best option I had.

I was delighted with the reception they got as they were being exposed to people who had actually signed up to share my artwork with me. Daily support and feedback came flooding back to me in many forms and I was very touched by the general response, confirming that doing video was indeed something I should continue to do.

So when I reached the last day today, I had very mixed feelings. I had gathered momentum and come to love the daily ritual of putting myself out there, irrespective of what response I got. And I had been told that my videos would be missed… I knew that they couldn’t stay on the art page as they were out of alignment with the general themes. I had to take a decision and open a new page.

This page would bring focus to my work as a spiritual teacher and coach and allow me to explore all sorts of topics relating to self help, spirituality and personal power. It would allow this aspect of my work to come to the fore and no longer be overshadowed by my artwork. Now art and spiritual power would stand side by side as partners.

Tonight I launched the new page and it felt quite exhilirating to do so.

And the change continues as I put the finishing touches to the new blog, meaning I will be stepping away from wordpress.com and expanding my horizons.

With every new change I feel the rush of excitement, knowing that anything I am leaving behind is making space for the new. It feels as if this is the new path I am on – one of taking the steps I know intuitively will lead me to where I want to be.

March 4, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What do You do While You’re Waiting?

We’re in a bit of a strange position in our present house. You see it doesn’t belong to us, we only have a rental contract and the landlord is wanting to sell, which means that there are regular viewings by potential buyers.

Now this means that we’re in a bit of a no-man’s land as we have no idea how long it will take for a sale to happen and we are keeping an eye out for a new home. Some of you will remember the article I posted a few months back regarding me putting my foot down during one rather intrusive viewing and since then there hasn’t been any real momentum – Bringing thoughts, words and actions into alignment.

But now I’m beginning to feel very strongly how detached we have become from this house. Since we don’t know how much longer we’ll be here, there is no incentive at all to do anything in or to the house, particularly since it doesn’t belong to us. And if I’m really honest, it’s beginning to affect me quite a bit, since I do like to put my roots down and feel at home where I am. A lovely interior decorator friend of mine, Jen Duchene the Makeover Mixtress, has been asking all sorts of stimulating questions about what we all do to make our homes beautiful places to live in, and this stirs up such a yearning in me to have a place I can really call my own again.

This means we are in a permanent state of waiting.  And waiting in itself isn’t terribly productive. So what could we do instead? Well, I like to talk about taking the waiting out of waiting. This means coming back into the present moment and accepting what is. Finding gratitude for our present situation and making the most of it.

I’m a Cancerian which means that I love to have a cosy, secure haven to retreat to and right now I don’t have that, particularly since there is also a huge noisy building site right across the road from us which makes it a bit hard for me to switch off and find time for solitude. So instead of allowing my thoughts to constantly wander away into some fictional future where we find an ideal home to move to, it would be much more beneficial for me to bring my awareness back to where I am right now.

This is our home. It gives us a roof over our heads. It keeps us warm and dry. And for that I am very thankful. There are also benefits to the noise from the builders opposite. It means that we get up and get busy doing other things in other parts of the house. Since our front room and bedroom are on full display, it means that we make that extra effort to keep them neat and tidy. And the noisiness also means that our minds are much more open to lots of other possibilities of places to move to, whereas before we had fixed ideas of where a new house might be.

For years I have dreamt of living in a beautifully warm and relaxing place and the intrusive noise has now helped to bring my focus back a bit to the vision I have held. Who knows, it may even be instrumental in helping me to take that leap of faith when an opportunity arises.

So what concrete steps can I take to reduce the waiting? Putting nice fresh flowers in vases on the table, clearing out clutter (which we wouldn’t want to pack up and take with us anyway), drawing lovely mindmaps to free up my creativity and just taking each day as it comes.

And who knows when our ideal house will manifest? I will certainly keep you posted.

How do you manage to take the waiting out of waiting? Are there any particular things that you do to keep you in a productive frame of mind while waiting for changes to take place? I’d love to hear your comments.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do You do While You're Waiting?

We’re in a bit of a strange position in our present house. You see it doesn’t belong to us, we only have a rental contract and the landlord is wanting to sell, which means that there are regular viewings by potential buyers.

Now this means that we’re in a bit of a no-man’s land as we have no idea how long it will take for a sale to happen and we are keeping an eye out for a new home. Some of you will remember the article I posted a few months back regarding me putting my foot down during one rather intrusive viewing and since then there hasn’t been any real momentum – Bringing thoughts, words and actions into alignment.

But now I’m beginning to feel very strongly how detached we have become from this house. Since we don’t know how much longer we’ll be here, there is no incentive at all to do anything in or to the house, particularly since it doesn’t belong to us. And if I’m really honest, it’s beginning to affect me quite a bit, since I do like to put my roots down and feel at home where I am. A lovely interior decorator friend of mine, Jen Duchene the Makeover Mixtress, has been asking all sorts of stimulating questions about what we all do to make our homes beautiful places to live in, and this stirs up such a yearning in me to have a place I can really call my own again.

This means we are in a permanent state of waiting.  And waiting in itself isn’t terribly productive. So what could we do instead? Well, I like to talk about taking the waiting out of waiting. This means coming back into the present moment and accepting what is. Finding gratitude for our present situation and making the most of it.

I’m a Cancerian which means that I love to have a cosy, secure haven to retreat to and right now I don’t have that, particularly since there is also a huge noisy building site right across the road from us which makes it a bit hard for me to switch off and find time for solitude. So instead of allowing my thoughts to constantly wander away into some fictional future where we find an ideal home to move to, it would be much more beneficial for me to bring my awareness back to where I am right now.

This is our home. It gives us a roof over our heads. It keeps us warm and dry. And for that I am very thankful. There are also benefits to the noise from the builders opposite. It means that we get up and get busy doing other things in other parts of the house. Since our front room and bedroom are on full display, it means that we make that extra effort to keep them neat and tidy. And the noisiness also means that our minds are much more open to lots of other possibilities of places to move to, whereas before we had fixed ideas of where a new house might be.

For years I have dreamt of living in a beautifully warm and relaxing place and the intrusive noise has now helped to bring my focus back a bit to the vision I have held. Who knows, it may even be instrumental in helping me to take that leap of faith when an opportunity arises.

So what concrete steps can I take to reduce the waiting? Putting nice fresh flowers in vases on the table, clearing out clutter (which we wouldn’t want to pack up and take with us anyway), drawing lovely mindmaps to free up my creativity and just taking each day as it comes.

And who knows when our ideal house will manifest? I will certainly keep you posted.

How do you manage to take the waiting out of waiting? Are there any particular things that you do to keep you in a productive frame of mind while waiting for changes to take place? I’d love to hear your comments.

March 2, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving up the Struggle and Connecting with Source

I’ve been inspired to write this post by my experiences of having the flu for the past two weeks. It was the first time ever and I must admit, I got quite a shock at the severity of it because I always thought it was just a bad cold. Not so.

I think the most difficult part to deal with was the coming and going of the flu symptoms and each time I thought things were beginning to improve, the next day I was flat on my back again. The whole thing was just so unpredictable and it was a big lesson in letting go and just going with what is.

Looking back on it I was really grateful for the oppportunity to spend so much time in bed and allow my thoughts to slow down and partially stop.  Because that’s a really big one for a lot of us, isn’t it? Slowing down all the chatter that’s going on in there 24/7 and finding that still space that’s underneath it all.

We’re all so busy working out thousands of things in our heads, reliving past experiences and worrying about future events that may well not happen,  that we lose sight of our real presence in the now. It’s when we slow down and make that connection in the present moment that we tune into something so much greater than ourselves. Call it what you will, your Higher Self, God, the Source of all creation. It doesn’t matter what name you give it. The important thing is that you breathe out and feel that connection. A beautiful feeling of peace and stillness.

The more time you can spend in this space during the day, the more likely you are to create space in both your mind and your life. Space for new ideas, new things, new people. And you can be sure that these inspirations you receive are coming from an inspired place.

A great starting place is to simply find somewhere quiet where you can sit or lie undisturbed. Gently cup your hands in your lap or if you are lying, fold your hands over your heart. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Feel your breath entering and leaving your body. Allow this all to happen without trying to change it in any way. Simply be in acceptance. And enjoy the relaxation that builds with every breath.

This anchors you in the present moment. And in this state you give up all struggle and let go of distractions and worries.

This is your natural state of being. And it is an extremely powerful place to be in because nothing of your outside world can touch you in any way.

So the next time you find yourself struggling with what is happening, take a moment to bring your awareness back to the present moment. Make that inner connection and release the distractions that are creating the illusion of difficulty and struggle.

When you do this simple practice regularly, you will be amazed at how your connection with Source grows. It will enable you to slowly gain control over the runaway nature of your mind and help put you back in control. And remember that any illnesses are a golden opportunity to do this. Embrace the time you can be still and enjoy the benefits it brings you.

Have you had any illnesses where you were able to tune in and gain clarity on what was going on in your life? How do you experience the time-outs in your life? I’d love you to share your stories here.

 

February 25, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Competitors? What Competitors? It’s All a Question of Resonance.

I was inspired to write this blog post by the silk painting community that I interact actively with online. It was founded by the lovely Francine Dufour Jones and is a wonderful place for silk painters to connect, share and ask questions. And it has struck me how so many people have been worried about how to market themselves in the face of so much competition.

Well, it’s my honest opinion that we are all so totally unique as artists and that we are not in competition with each other. Your state of being will determine what energy you radiate as you interact with others and the best way to see what that is, is to look at the people and situations that are prevalent in your life right now.

If you are letting your shoulders hang and using negative self-talk then that is what you are sending out and that is exactly what you are receiving back from the universe.

It’s always a question of resonance. There’s always a marriage of energies.

And this is very significant for artists. Because the clients that get attracted to you want to buy your artwork as it represents the energy you express. They have a piece of you in their home, whether or not they are consciously aware of it.

There are some who might argue that you do some competitor research, which of course you can do. When I did a business course a few years back when I lived in Malahide, County Dublin, part of the requirements were that we submitted a completed business plan. And of course, this involved doing competitor research.  So I set off joyfully researching potential products that were similar to my silk mandala cushions. The bottom line of it was that I didn’t find anything remotely like mine, most companies were just mass-producing in China and the prices were throwaways.

It left me seeing that artwork is simply in a class of its own and you can’t really put a price on it. The value of a piece is something that is decided between the artist and the buyer and cannot be nailed down to specifics. What it means is that if a client or artcollector decided they loved your artwork, the energy it emitted and the energy you emitted as an artist (which are normally the same) and  knew without a doubt that it would hang beautifully in their home, the price is not of the essence.

So start looking at your artwork with fresh eyes. See it as an extension of you. Learn to value it and cherish it. See it through the eyes of potential customers and treat it as though it were highly valuable. Because you certainly are. Your artwork reflects this. And when you do that your artwork will start to send out new messages.

Whether or not you are an artist, I’d love to hear from you about your personal experiences. Have you found this to be true for yourself? Please leave any comments below. Thanks.

February 13, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 51 Comments

How to Enrich Your Life with Mindfulness Meditation

I love to maintain many spiritual practices in my everyday life as I can tangibly feel the benefits they bring me and thoroughly enjoy the process of doing them too. I’m convinced that my daily meditations are a real anchor for me in that they slow my mind and my pulse down, pulling a brake on the racing that is happening within me so that I can make real sense of everything that is happening.

But I also know how taking the time to sit down and be in the stillness and tune in completely to my inner wisdom, my Higher Self, I can access something so much greater than when I am rushing around  trying to do everything in my head.

I wanted to share this with you as I really believe that cultivating this practice can make a massive difference in your life too,

Mindfulness Meditation

enriching it with more focus and well-being. Research has pointed towards meditators enjoying improved health and enhanced creativity as well as it slowing down the aging process of the brain as it appears to thicken the grey matter of the brain.

It’s such a bonus in my life that I just wouldn’t want to be without it any more.

And for those of you reading this who have never meditated before, let me just share with you that you can begin with something as simple as mindfulness meditation. This involves you bringing your awareness to one particular thing. It could be a physical object in the room or simply your breath. Your mind naturally wanders at will, busying itself with all sorts of random distractions which take you away from being centred. So what you do is bring your awareness to say, your breath, whenever you remember to. Be there totally. Simply observe your breath entering and leaving your body. Make no attempt to change it in any way. Simply allow .

Your mind will just start to wander again but you will lovingly bring it back whenever you can, without any blame or judgment, just gently redirecting your focus to your breath. And just be with your breath, feeling whatever is happening for you.

This practise, when used regularly, will help you to feel more centred. Your brain function becomes slower so that the beta waves are replaced with alpha waves, inducing a feeling of deep relaxation within you. And this is what stimulates natural healing within your body, regenerating you and reducing stress and anxiety. It also completely brings you back to the present moment.

When you start to take control of the state of your mind and health in this way, it can have far-reaching consequences for your life in general, creating deeper and more meaningful experiences for you.

I’d love it if you were to try this for yourself if you haven’t already. Have you tried meditation techniques like this before and what difference have they made in your life?

February 10, 2011 Posted by | SPIRITUAL PRACTICES | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Featured Facebook Fan on Friday with LouLovesLearning

What a lovely surprise. At the end of last week my very lovely friend Louise Edington contacted me and told me that I was her Facebook Fan of the Week and that she would like to do an interview feature with me.

Louise Edington of LouLovesLearning

Well, I couldn’t say no, could I? In fact, I was totally delighted. I took a bit of time out to sit down and pen my responses to her questions and send them back over to her. It’s always an interesting process to create a story about yourself for others to read, for the most part total strangers. But it’s lovely because it leads to all sorts of unexpected connections.

You can have a read at the interview on LouLovesLearning right here. And when you’ve finished reading it, you might like to browse a bit on her website as she does interviews like this every week with all sorts of fascinating people. But you’ll also  find all sorts of other inspirational articles and vlogs documenting Louise’s journey of exploration.

Louise is currently the blogging coach on the SNCC with Ann Evanston (Warrior-Preneur) and is the lovely woman who guides you through the sections on getting to grips with the ins and outs of creating blog posts that are going to really grab your audience. She also works as a childcare coordinator for the International Aupair Finder.

But Louise is truly in her element blogging about life’s challenges and all the amazing things she is learning on the way. She has come on quite a journey, working her way into the world of social media and finding her niche online. I also happen to know she is an avid reader and has piles of books at her bedside just waiting to be delved into. A very like-minded soul!

So I hope you will go over and make friends with Louise and find out more about what she does. I think you’ll have fun.

As always I’d love to have feedback from you. Please leave any comments you have here or why not leave a comment on Louise’s page. I know she’d be happy to hear from you.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blue and Green Should Never be Seen…or was it Red and Green?

I had actually been planning to write a second part to my post on wearing green clothing, however things have taken a different turn and although I’m still on the topic of green, I have decided to explore a slightly different question than what clothing you wear.

Red and green or blue and green

Most of us grew up learning all those delightful little ditties that we sang or chanted while playing or doing our homework. And there were always a few inbetween that sounded a little odd but then our grandmother or one of our teachers had taught us them and so we took them on board without questioning them.

The one that sticks in my mind is ‘Red and green should never be seen except upon an Irish Queen‘. I remember my grandmother saying that one again and again. Now up until recently I was perfectly happy using it even though I knew that it didn’t hold any water. I loved seeing vibrant red roses with contrasting green leaves in the garden. They went perfectly together, didn’t they?

But wait…”That’s wrong!” I hear you say. “It should be ‘Blue and green should never be seen except with something inbetween’.”

Now that’s very odd. I began to ask around and found opinions hugely divided on what the correct version should be. So I started digging to see if I could shed any light on the origin of the phrase. And that’s when it got really colourful.

One comment from an ex-marine stated that it referred to ships in the  night. If you see a red light on your ship and red on the other, the ships are travelling in opposite directions. If one is green and the other is red,  both ships are travelling in the same direction and if at an angle to each other, possibly in danger of colliding. Even worse is if you can see both red and green on the oncoming ship. Then you are headed for collision.

But here’s a fascinating suggestion. There was a film  in 1957 with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn called “Funny Face” and a female fashion editor was supposed to have said ‘Red and green should never be seen except with something inbetween’. Was that the US fashion rule in those days? The funny bit for me is that this film is in a boxed set of Audrey Hepburn films I gave my husband for Christmas and I haven’t seen it yet. Time to watch it.

And yet that doesn’t really make sense when you look at how all shades of green go fabulous with blue jeans.

Personally I think  both versions of this saying are  nonsense because I believe that any colour can harmonise with any other one depending on how you use them.  And nature doesn’t seem to have heard of this rule at all.

Here’s a parting shot though. The Irish word for girl is cailin (with an fadda accent over the last i and it’s pronounced colleen). Is this then a slip of the tongue that makes colleen sound like Queen? This topic is turning out to be far more extensive than I originally thought and is giving me lots of new inspirations for further blogs.

But anyway, I wanted to throw this question out to you and see if you know any more about this. Which version were you taught and do you have any idea where the phrase came from? And do you flout the rule or do you find yourself avoiding green combinations as a result? Thanks for taking the time to share.

February 6, 2011 Posted by | COLOURS | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Inspired Art and Living

Many of you will know that this blog started out being completely dedicated to silk painting. I shared all sorts of silk painting techniques, did problem solving (trouble-shooting) and explained my process in the painting projects I tried out. You asked questions and I did my best to answer them based on my own experiences and things that others had passed onto me.

The good news is that I will continue to be publishing all sorts of posts around the topic of silk painting but at the same time I’ll be exploring many new avenues. I have a background in teaching and have been involved in coaching and self-development work too. So I will now be combining all of my skills and offering services that take everything into account.

The first change was to a new name. And so, for those of you  who are here on this page for the first time, welcome to ‘Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze.’

I’ve been actively involved in an intensive online course called SNCC which has taught me so much about social media and enabled me to bring focus into what I do and be more effective online. It’s an ongoing process and you’ll be seeing the latest results of this when I launch my new blog very soon. I’ll be moving away from this platform to WordPress.org which will give me many more possibilities including using my own domain name. But don’t worry, I’ll be making this transition as smooth as possible so no-one gets lost on the way.

I’m really looking forward to sharing this with all of you and hope that you will continue to follow me on my journey as a silk artist, teacher and coach. Thank you.

Do you  have two seemingly different areas in your life that you’d love to bring together so that you can work with both of them? I’d love you to share your thoughts here.

February 2, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment